When creating a PR plan for your local business the best place to start is by contacting your local publications.
Many small businesses aim high for the national newspapers and glossy magazines, however when your business caters for the local population these publications may not reach your target audience. Whereas being covered in your local press can build credibility in your community and with your potential customers.
Below we’ve created a five point plan on how to promote your local business.
1. Understand your target audience
When creating your PR plan it is important to understand your target audience and where to reach them, especially when you’re a local business. Ask yourself what area your business caters for, does it provide for a whole region or just your immediate area? In addition, what publications write about these areas?
After you know where your target audience are based, you’ll know which publications may be interested in your story.
2. Become familiar with local publications
Once you know which publications are best to target you need to read them regularly. Note down the different sections, regular features and style of writing. Is the publication heavily focused on business or do they write stories with a more personal angle? When you understand the publication you will be able to recognise where your business can fit within the publication.
Focusing on the style of writing will help when it comes to pitching your story. Make it easy for the journalist by laying out your pitch in the same format as their previous articles, interviews and features. In addition, give the journalist everything they will need, such as high res images, quotes or pricing.
3. Create relationships with local journalists
When you know which sections or features suit your business you need to start engaging and building relationships with the relevant journalists. Follow them on social media, especially Twitter, and engage with their content.
Follow up with inviting them to lunch or a coffee to discuss how you can work together. Find out their deadlines, any upcoming features and suggest story ideas. However, it is important to be friendly and helpful, rather than pushing your business.
By creating relationships with journalists, it is easier to understand what they look for and makes it more likely they will be willing to cover you. They may also come to you when looking for comments or case studies.
4. Connect with local bloggers
Along with connecting with journalists, it is important to work with bloggers. Lifestyle bloggers in your area will often share and review local restaurants/cafes, shops and products or services, making recommendations to readers and followers.
By working with a blogger they are able to create different content to what you may receive from journalists, such as video and social media posts. In addition, they may also promote your brand to a different audience than the local papers, for example a younger age range.
5. Host events for your local community
Events are a create way to connect with local customers, journalists and bloggers. By inviting them to your events it gives them the opportunity to see your products and meet you in person. Creating a relationship is a lot easier when meeting someone face to face.
By hosting exciting and different events in your area will also encourage journalists and bloggers to write about you and your business. See three types of event you can host in your local area.
By following the tips above it should help to kick-start your local businesses PR. If you would like to find out more about creating a PR strategy for your charity take a look at our blog ‘How to create a 2017 PR strategy for your small business’ or sign up to our newsletter here.
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Written By: Camilla Holroyd, Media Relations ExecutiveCamilla is the all-important portal between JournoLink's businesses and journalists; connecting them on a daily basis through press releases, Twitter engagements and editorial requests.